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NYC Health Dept.: Alcohol Easy For Underage Buyers To Get In NYC

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) -- A New York City Department of Health investigation has revealed just how easy it is for underage buyers to get their hands on alcohol in the city's pharmacy, grocery and liquor stores.

On Sunday, the health department released the results of an undercover investigation undertaken by the state liquor authority between April and September last year.

Underage decoys were sent to 911 stores throughout the five boroughs -- 10 percent of the city's stores with liquor licenses.

The decoys were able to buy alcohol in 58 percent of the stores, according to the health department.

Dr. Hillary Kunins, assistant commissioner of the health department, told WCBS 880 the investigation was conducted because underage drinking in the city continues to rise.

"What brought it on was our concern that rates of binge drinking and drinking among underage people in New York City has continued to be an issue," Kunins said.

The health department said a letter will be sent to all stores with liquor licenses on Monday, reminding them to check IDs and to make sure employees are trained to avoid selling to underage buyers.

Kunins said the health department will also be releasing a public service announcement reminded parents that they can report stores that are selling to underage kids, WCBS 880 reported.

The department is also planning to sponsor training sessions.

(TM and © Copyright 2015 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2015 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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